The town of Bayfield declared a state of emergency Tuesday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bayfield followed emergency declarations from Colorado, La Plata County, Durango and Ignacio, making it the last municipality in the county to announce a state of emergency. The Town Board passed the order to open access to possible disaster relief resources, said Mayor Matt Salka.
“If there’s an opportunity for grants to be able to help Bayfield or the surrounding area, this would at least open up those opportunities,” Salka said.
The town’s declaration was delayed because it did not have specific emergency policies for responding to viruses. They needed to create guidelines for the viral emergency response, like how to conduct meetings remotely, gain legal approval and get them approved by the board.
Town Board meetings will be conducted remotely by telephone, video conferencing or other electronic platforms, which could require a public access code. Community members who want to participate in remote Town Board meetings should visit the town website or call Town Hall and ask to receive online access information.
The declaration also shows a uniform approach to preventing further spread of the novel coronavirus and Bayfield’s support for the state government’s actions, Salka said.
“We’re all in this together, and we all need to be aware, stay at home and keep a 6-foot distance if you are out there as an essential employee.” Salka said.